Rhubarb and Vanilla Bean Compote

Fresh Cut Rhubarb | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Here in Minneapolis, otherwise known as gardening Zone 4, we jump for joy when we see ramps and rhubarb. Rhubarb is the first thing to come up in my garden and it gives me tremendous joy! A sign of life, hope for warm weather and it just happens to be delicious. I love the tartness, combined with a bit of sugar and vanilla it is near perfection, which is why I made this rhubarb and vanilla bean compote.

I just pull off a few stalks, cut the poisonous leaves away, wash off the dirt and slice it up. It is wonderful raw dipped in a bit of sugar, but I generally prefer to cook it. Read More

Lemon Curd and Brioche à Tête for Mother’s Day!

Brioche à Tête and Lemon Curd | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

This weekend is Mother’s Day and I will get breakfast in bed from my two wonderful young boys. It is a tradition that always ends up with the duvet and my children wearing a significant portion of food. The menu is a list of their favorite things to eat, prepared by their dad — waffles smothered in syrup, whipped cream, berries and a side of bacon (because my husband Graham loves bacon). I adore it all! They generally give me about two bites before climbing into bed to inhale the rest. I’m sure someday when the boys get older and more civilized we will go out for brunch and I will actually get to eat something, but there is a part of me that will sadly miss this display of loving savagery. Read More

Chocolate Soufflé Cupcakes

Chocolate Soufflé Cupcakes | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

These chocolate soufflé cupcakes is a great little hit of chocolate and coffee for when you need a fix. They are my two favorite vices. Well, the two that come to mind right now. My day ALWAYS starts with a cup of coffee in the morning. About midday I open up my chocolate drawer and have a little square of some treasure I’ve been hiding. Yes, I have a drawer just for chocolate. Actually it shares space with tins of tea, but they are just a foil to throw my boys off the scent. If you lift up the tins there are about a dozen different chocolate bars to choose from. If the boys start reading my website I’ll have to find a new hiding spot. Read More

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

How to make carrot cake with cream cheese frosting | photo by Zoë François

“This is the best cake I’ve ever eaten!” was the reaction from my husband Graham to my latest creation. He has tasted many cakes during our 21 years together, so I pay attention when he makes a proclamation like this. I have to agree, this carrot cake with cream cheese frosting is a winner! The recipe comes from Carole Bloom’s book The Essential BakerHow to make carrot cake with cream cheese frosting | photo by Zoë François. I’ve made some minor changes to the recipe but for the most part it is hers. Read More

A Bowl of Marzipan Cherries!

Marzipan Cherries | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

These marzipan cherries topped a carrot cake from Carole Bloom’s newest book I made for a friend’s birthday party this weekend. Cherries were the theme of her party, because her name is Carolyn Cherry! Her birthday happens to fall at a time of year when there is not a fresh fruit to be found. Not even those grown in South America. So what is a pastry chef to do? Make her own, of course! Read More